It’s Guest Post Monday! Today we have Dr. Rick Kirschner, author of the book How to Click With People. He excels at helping people improve their people skills, ultimately bettering their relationships.  Read through the below post and see where you can refine the ways you interact with your prospects, customers, sales peers, friends and family members.

When people say what’s on their mind, their hope and intent is to be heard and understood. Yet more often than you might think, they don’t even know what they’re talking about.

That’s because words are symbols for experience, and most of what people say initially is just the tip of the iceberg relative to what’s really going on. When people start talking, the first things you hear represent only the surface of a person’s thoughts, rather than the deep structure experience, motivations, values and opinions that drive those thoughts.

The reality of communication is that when people share their symbols — their words — it’s incredibly easy to think you understand when you don’t really have a clue!

That’s one of the main reasons for communication troubles. Asking questions is a wonderful way to find out what people really mean, while giving them the opportunity to find out with you!

You can almost always gather higher-quality information than what is initially offered if you’re willing to drill down into the deeper structure from whence it comes. Questions allow both of you to clarify the details and understand the specifics of a problem, rather than coping with, and reacting to, vague generalizations.

If you’re dealing with an upset person, you can help them calm down and become more rational in the process, by asking the questions that help you as the listener as well as the person talking to fill in the blanks in what they’re saying. And along the way, as they engage their mind instead of just their feelings, they become reasonable again.

You can patiently demonstrate that you care about what people are saying, by asking a few specific questions. In this way, people are more likely to trust you and cooperate with you.

Asking questions can slow a situation down long enough to see where it’s heading. This allows you to take corrective action sooner instead of later. You can surface hidden agendas and reveal lies without being adversarial. Like the TV detective, Columbo, you can appear to be accepting what you hear, and then ask “Just one more question,” and before you know it, they’ll be inadvertently spilling the beans.

Questions are one of the most powerful methods for gaining real insight and understanding about the people with whom you interact!

Dr. Rick Kirschner has helped millions improve their communication skills and have better relationships and careers. He is co-author of the international bestseller, Dealing with People You Can’t Stand, and co-creator of the classic all-time bestselling audio and video program, How to Deal with Difficult People. His new book How to Click With People reveals the secret to better relationships in business and in life. For a free one-hour audio on Difficult People, visit: http://www.TheArtOfChange.com

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